As a unit of the National Park Service there are several regulations regarding pets that are enforced within Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park.
Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center (340 Concord Street, Charleston)
Fort Moultrie (1214 Middle Street, Sullivan's Island)
Pets must be restrained on a leash no longer than 6 feet long and may not be left unattended. Service dogs are allowed, as granted by law (see section below). Pet excrement must be picked up and disposed of properly. Please be responsible and courteous of others when bringing any pets into the park.
Weather at Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park is hot and humid during the summer. Please do not plan to leave your pets in vehicles during hot weather. The internal temperature of a vehicle can soar to dangerous levels in a manner of minutes.
How "Service Animal" is defined:
Service animals are working animals, not pets. Service animals are defined as animals that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind. alerting people who are deaf, pulling a wheelchair, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, reminding a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack, or performing other duties. The work or task an animals has been trained to provide must be directly related to the person's disability. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
This definition does not affect or limit the broader definitions of "assistance animal" under the Fair Housing Act or the broader definition of "service animal" under the Air Carrier Access Act.
Some State and local laws also define service animal more broadly than the ADA does.
Where Service Animals Are Allowed
Under the ADA, State and local governments, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go.
Service Animals Must be Under Control.
Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal's work or the individual's disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls,
Inquiries, Exclusions, Charges, and Other Specific Rules Related to Service Animals
When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? and (2) What work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Staff cannot ask about the person's disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform work or task.
Allergies and fear of dogs are not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people using service animals. When a person who is allergic to dog dander and a person who uses a service animal must spend time in the same room or facility they both should be accommodated by assigning them, if possible, to different locations within the room or different rooms in the facility.
A person with a disability cannot be asked to remove his/her service animal from the premises unless: (1) the animal is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it, or (2) the dog is not housebroken. When there is a legitimate reason to ask that a service animal be removed, staff must offer the person with the disability the opportunity to obtain goods or services without the animal's presence.
People with disabilities who use service animals cannot be isolated from other patrons, treated less favorably than other patrons, or charged fees that are not charged to other patrons without animals.
Staff are not required to provide care or food for service animals.
Last updated: March 14, 2019